What is the NHS Long Term Plan?

The NHS faces a growing demand for its services. More people have long-term conditions for which they need ongoing support. Illnesses linked to inequality and to lifestyle choices are also adding to the pressure on the NHS.

People have told Healthwatch they want to help by taking more control of their health and care. To do this they want the NHS to get better at understanding what they need, at using technology and providing support tailored to them as an individual.

The NHS is changing and it needs your help

The Government has announced that the NHS budget will be increased by £20bn a year. In January, the NHS in England published an ambitious ten-year plan showing how this extra money will be spent.

The priorities for the future

The plan sets out the areas the NHS wants to make better, including:

  • Improving how the NHS works so that people can get help more easily and closer to home. For example, being able to talk to your doctor on your computer or smart phone; access more services via your GP near to where you live; use other community services which could improve your health; and leave hospital without delay when you are well enough.
  • Helping more people to stay well. This includes things like helping more people to stay a healthy weight or to stop smoking. It covers helping to tackle air pollution and making sure your health isn’t worse because of where you live, the services and treatments available and the amount of money you have.
  • Making care better. The NHS wants to get even better at looking after people with cancer, mental health, dementia, lung and heart diseases and learning disabilities, and autism.
  • More money invested in technology so that everyone can access services using their phone or computer, and so that health professionals can make better, faster decisions.

The NHS hopes that by spending more money on services in the community, and by making sure that care works as well as possible, it can save money overall and ensure people have all the support they need.

What next?

NHS organisations have been asked to come up with a local plan explaining how these priorities will be delivered in your area. Your local Healthwatch are working together to find out what local people think. What people tell us will be shared with the NHS and will be used to help develop the plan for your area. 

Why do you want to know the views of local people?

These plans will only be successful if they respond to what local people want. We want to hear your views and ideas to help your local NHS invest in the right support.

How and when can I share my view?

From the start of March, you can have your say by either visiting www.healthwatch.co.uk/what-would-you-do  or contacting your local Healthwatch to find out about how you can get involved.

What issues are you asking about?

The NHS wants to help people stay well and make the support available better. To do this your local NHS is going to change the way it works.

For example, the NHS wants to:

  • Help people live healthier lives by supporting individuals to stop smoking and tackling issues such as air pollution.
  • Invest more in technology and community services so you can access help more quickly and support closer to home. 
  • Get even better at looking after people with cancer, mental health, dementia, lung and heart diseases and learning disabilities, and autism.
  • Improve the support people need to age well and to have a strong start in life.

Your views can help your local NHS get these changes right.

Tell us what you think could be done to help people stay well and live more healthier lives.

Share your experiences of receiving care and tell us what you think would make support better.

What would you do to make it easier for people to take control of their own health and wellbeing?

Talk to your Healthwatch and help make your local NHS better for everyone.

What will the NHS do with these views?

The NHS in every area have been asked by NHS England to come up with a local plan explaining how they will deliver the priorities set out in the NHS Long Term Plan.

Healthwatch is finding out what local people think to help the NHS invest in the right services. Your local Healthwatch will publish a public report about what people have told them. The NHS will explain how they have responded to these views in the plans they produce.

How can I help other people in my community to share their thoughts?

If you want to help more people in your community have their say, please contact your local Healthwatch or visit www.healthwatch.co.uk/what-would-you-do

Does this work aim to provide feedback on the national NHS Long Term Plan?

No. Our aim is to give people the opportunity to have their say on how the national plan is delivered locally. The views we gather will feed into the development of the NHS’s local plans. 

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